BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace were beaten on penalties in the second round of the EFL Cup for the second successive season, this time by AFC Bournemouth.
A goalless game led to a lengthy shootout, in which Luka Milivojevic had the decisive kick saved.
Harry Arter and Nya Kirby both forced saves from the respective goalkeepers in a slow start to the tie.
Kirby and Jaroslaw Jach were making their competitive debuts in a Palace side largely made up of fringe players along with the likes of Milivojevic, Ebere Eze and Michy Batshuayi who all had interrupted pre-seasons.
The hosts, who named a comparatively strong line-up including several of those who played Premier League football at Vitality Stadium, began to take control of the game. Sam Surridge appeared to be level with Sam Woods but the Cherries striker’s eventual finish was ruled out for offside. Arter was then denied by Wayne Hennessey.
Kirby had the Eagles’ first big chance but failed to connect with Eze’s cross on the stretch with the goal gaping.
It took until just before the hour for the game’s next chance, but Woods did excellently to block both Surridge’s initial shot and then the follow-up. Jack Stacey then forced Hennessey into a good save.
Batshuayi and Eze struggled to get into this game and their lack of match fitness was evident. Palace were often too slow on possession and gave away the ball too easily. Only when Jordan Ayew came on for the final 30 minutes did the attack liven up.
The goalless 90 minutes meant the match went straight to a penalty shoot-out. An immaculate first 10 penalties led to both goalkeepers missing, before Brooks scored and Milivojevic had his spot-kick saved.
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